Does it feel like a chore to step back into the garden after a long and somewhat harsh winter? Sure, it can be hard to see what Mother Nature did to your outdoor space. But there’s also something incredibly gratifying about braving the last bit of winter chill to get your garden up and running.
Just don’t feel the need to do it all at once. Gardening is supposed to add joy, not stress to your life. You can get your garden ready bit by bit as time and energy allow.
Start by Surveying the Yard
Like cleaning a home, you want to start from the top and work your way down. Start by assessing the trees. Are there any limbs that should be removed or given support? Next move on to the perennials. You’ll want to prune back any excess growth that’s crowding other areas.
Then move on to the flowerbeds. Anywhere that you have bulbs planted, you’ll want to rake the mulch away and replace it with fresh mulch. Finally, take a look at the structures within your garden, specifically the fences, steps, and pathways. As these structures freeze and thaw throughout the winter, they can crack and break. The sooner you address any issues, the less damage they will incur.
How is Your Tool Situation
Did you remember to properly store your tools during the winter? If not, you may need to give them a tune-up. In particular, take a look at your pruners. These blades can become dull from both use and exposure to moisture. It may be time to sharpen them.
Wooden handles can also become dirty and rough — especially in our damp Seattle climate. You can restore new life to these old favorites by cleaning then, sanding them, and massaging them with linseed oil.
Show Your Lawn Some TLC
If your yard has grass, spring is an important time to show it a little love. Check your mower and leaf blower to make sure they are in operational order. If not, send them in to be serviced. Then, clear all the winter debris from your lawn and identify areas that need to be reseeded.
Gives Your Container Plants a More Permanent Home
You don’t want to transplant your container garden during the height of summer. This can sock the root system and impact its ability to absorb water properly. One of the best times to give plants that have outgrown their containers a home in one of your flowerbeds is during the spring when the soil has plenty of moisture and there’s a healthy dose of sun.
Feed Your Garden (aka Fertilize)
Spring is one of the biggest growth periods your garden will experience. It’s now that you need to give it plenty of food. A mixture of fish emulsion around trees and shrubs that are showing new growth will help these plants thrive.
High-acid fertilizers and pine-needle mulch can be used to support acid-loving shrubs. Not sure what areas of your garden need what? Stop by your local nursery.